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The Discovery of Reserpine - Research Paper Example

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The paper “The Discovery of Reserpine” examines one of the Indole alkaloids contained in a plant named Rauwolfia serpentina Benth common in India. It was first isolated by E. Schlittler and his co-scientists during the year 1952. It was considered as the first tranquilizer ever discovered…
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Download file to see previous pages The Indian society found many uses in reserpine. It was applied in treating fever, vomiting, snake bites, insomnia and insanity, a, among others. They have had also used it in inducing sleep to children utilizing low doses of the plant and as a treatment for insanity in high level (Healey 102). Because of its apparent use in treating a number of ailments gaining its significance in the field of medicine, scientists subjected rauwolfia for research and chemical experimentations. In the year 1952, Healey noted that E. Schlittler, Hugo Bein and other Swiss scientists working for Ciba laboratories (presently Novartis) first isolated and were able to identify the structure of reserpine that was considered as the most important evidence in clarifying the actions of its plant source (103). The drug gained more popularity during the 1960s and 1970s. However, because its depression effect (Leyton, Kwai Pun, Benkelfat, and Young 464) caused by its inhibition of serotonin’s accumulation (Hudlicky and Reed 541), the use of reserpine in psychiatric cases declined. With the same reason, its employment is controlled nowadays even with its proven action in the adrenergic neurons that can cause therapeutic effect versus hypertension (Williams and Lemke 572). Reserpine is chemically known as methyl 18β-hydroxy-11, 17 α-dimethoxy-3β, 20α-yohimbine-16β-carboxylate 3,4,5- (ester) (“Reserpine” DailyMed). Although it generally appears with a yellowish color because of its sensitivity to light, reserpine is actually a white crystalline powder. Its melting point is about 270°C and it is odorless and almost tasteless (Szasz and Budvari-Barany 139). Its solubility to acetone, benzene and alcohol, on the other hand, is poorer compared to chloroform and acetic acid with which it is freely soluble. Moreover, reserpine’s basicity is slightly far from the center of basicity which is 4. Its pH level lies between 6 and 7.5; thus, rendering the name alkaloid. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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